P.O. Box 400, FI-00121 Helsinki, Finland | Tel. +358 9 686180 | echa.europa.eu
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is launching this call for expressions of interest in
order to establish a reserve list for the following temporary agent profile:
Reference number ECHA/TA/2021/010
Job Title Head of Communications
Function Group/Grade Temporary Agent, AD 9 (see the Guide for Applicants for more
Location Helsinki, Finland
Publication Date 02 November 2021
Deadline for Applications 29 November 2021, at noon, 12:00 Helsinki time (11:00 CET)
1. Who we are
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) aims to be the centre of knowledge on thesustainable management of chemicals, serving a wide range of EU policies and global initiatives, for the benefit of citizens and the environment. Together with our partners, we work for the safe use of chemicals.
ECHA is an equal opportunity organisation which welcomes applications from qualified professionals who are citizens of a Member State of the European Union or the European Economic Area. We are committed to achieving diversity, as the diversity of ECHA’s staff is essential to the Agency’s success. We, therefore, encourage qualified women and members of other under-represented groups (i.e. nationals of Croatia and Luxembourg) with profiles
relevant to the job to submit their application. Irrespective of their gender or nationality, applicants who are judged to be the most suitable, based on the assessment in the selection process, will be placed on the reserve list.
ECHA achieved excellent results in the most recent staff survey (2021) and has been awarded a recognition as one of Finland’s most inspiring workplaces. This acknowledgement signals a high employee engagement level and indicates that the Agency develops the organisation,staff wellbeing, operating culture and collaboration together with staff.
The recognition is given to Finnish organisations that achieve outstanding results in the PeoplePower® employee survey carried out by Eezy Flow. You can read more about this acknowledgement here: https://www.innostavimmat.fi/in-english.
2. Is this job for you?
We are looking for an enthusiastic, dynamic and highly skilled Head of Communications who has a successful record in management and leadership responsibilities in the communications or public relations area.
The Head of Communications will be responsible for all activities in this area, providing strategic advice on content and channels to effectively communicate to the wide range of audiences on ECHA’s related topics; he/she will also lead a unit of communication professionals that provide communications tools and expertise to the rest of the Agency, in close cooperation with colleagues responsible for a range of operational and horizontal work areas.
3. Key responsibilities The Head of Communications will ensure an effective communication of the Agency’s activities and vision in a evolving environment driven by existing and new relevant EU policies. The Head of Communications, reporting to the Director of Submissions and Interaction, will be responsible for managing the Communications Unit and leading it towards contributing to Agency’s strategic objectives.
In particular, s/he will:
• Provide vision, direction and leadership for the Agency’s communications:
o Provide advice to the Executive Director and the rest of the management team on strategic communications to support the definition and achievement of ECHA’s vision, priorities and (multi)annual goals;
o Ensure activities to inform and explain the relevant chemicals legislation andits implementaiton, the decision-making processes and the progress with its implementation including the Agency’s work and related impact;
o Provide guidance to stakeholders, including Member States authorities oncommunication to the public of information on the risks and safe use of chemicals;
o Facilitate a continuous improvement of ECHA’s communications capabilities, revising and adapting them as necessary to a changing environment;
o Contribute actively as a member of the management team, on the Agency’s strategy and policies, the (multi)annual planning, corporate identity, overall governance and decision-making;
o Manage the Agency’s Accredited Stakeholder Organisations activities;
o Support the responsible units across the Agency in managing the relationships with external and internal stakeholders, though professional communication tools, and cooperation in implementing partnerships and joint actions as appropriate;
o Handle external requests for information relevant to the work of the Communications Unit, including requests from the media, other European and international institutions and bodies, Member States and the general public.
• Effectively manage the Communications Unit:
o Coordinate the achievement of its objectives and report on progress, within the framework of the overall strategic planning of the Agency, as well as internal policies and procedures;
o Manage the staff in the Unit, motivating and supporting them in attaining the objectives set, developing their competences and realising their potential;
o Ensure effective management of the various tools and channels that support the Communications in the Agency including its website;
o Ensure, together with the reporting Director, the adequate planning and reporting of the Agency’s resources by their optimum allocation over the different activities assigned to the Communications Unit;
o Ensure sound financial management of the unit budget, in line with applicable rules and procedures; contribute to budget forecasting and monitoring of budget execution and ensure timely procurement of necessary equipment and
services, in accordance with public procurement procedures;
o Act as a Financial Authorising Officer for allocated resources, as appropriate;
o Collaborate with other Heads of units and Directorates to ensure effective organisational cooperation and support at all levels and promote a customer orientation both towards internal and external customers of the
o Reflect ECHA’s values and people principles in the day-to-day workplace interactions with colleagues and ensure a respectful and healthy working culture for all staff in the Communications Unit and ECHA.
4. Eligibility criteria
The selection procedure is open to applicants who satisfy the following eligibility criteria, on the closing date for application:
a. General requirements
The applicant must:
• Be a national of a Member State of the European Union, or a national of the European Economic Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway)1;
• Enjoy the full rights as a citizen;
• Have fulfilled any obligations imposed by the laws concerning military service;
• Produce the appropriate character references as to the suitability for the performance of the duties2;
• Be physically fit to perform the duties3;
• Have a thorough knowledge of one of the official languages of the European Union4 and a satisfactory knowledge of another such language to the extent necessary to perform your duties;
• Be able to communicate well in English as this is the working language of ECHA;
1 The Member States of the European Union are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic,
Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg,
Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden.
2 Before appointment, successful applicants will be required to produce an official document indicating that they do
not have a criminal record.
3 Before appointment, successful applicants will be required to undergo a medical examination to ensure that they
fulfil the requirements of Articles 12, 2 (c) of the Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the European
4 The languages of the EU are: Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, Irish,
German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovene,
• Be below the age at which staff of the EU is automatically retired, i.e. currently on the last day of the month in which he/she reaches the age of 665
a) Successful completion of a full course of university studies attested by a degree, where the normal duration of university education is four (4) years or more.
b) Successful completion of a full course of university studies attested by a degree, where the normal duration of university education is three (3) years and at least one (1) year of relevant professional experience.
Only qualifications issued by EU Member State authorities or EEA authorities and qualifications recognized as equivalent by the relevant EU or EEA Member State authorities will be accepted.
c. Professional experience
To qualify for this profile, you must have at the closing date for applications a total professional experience6 of at least twelve (12) years acquired after achieving the minimum requirements stated out in section 4. a) and b).
Of your total professional experience, at least five (5) years must be in a field, or fields, relevant7 to the areas of work mentioned in Section 3. Additionally, at least two (2) years must be in a management role (Head of Unit, Head of Sector, Team Leader or equivalent).
5. Selection criteria
If you meet the eligibility criteria set out in section 4, you will be assessed on the basis of the following selection criteria. The candidates who are judged to be the most suitable on the basis of the selection criteria will be invited to the next stage of the selection process.
• Your academic and professional qualifications and their relevance to the main areas of work listed in section 3. Preference will be given to qualifications obtained in or covering fields relevant to Communications area.
• Your professional experience: Preference will be given to candidates having experience in functions similar to those outlined in section 3. The Selection Committee will assess the range of fields covered, the type, length and level of work done and itsrelevance to the areas of work listed in section 3.
5 See Article 47(a) CEOS for Temporary Agents, applicable to Contract Agents by analogy, Article 119 CEOS.
6 Only relevant professional experience acquired after achieving the minimum qualification stated in 2.2 shall be
considered. Where additional periods of training and study are accompanied by periods of professional activity,
only the latter shall be considered as professional experience. Compulsory military service or equivalent civilian
service accomplished after the achieving the minimum qualification stated in 2.2. shall be taken into
consideration. Professional activities pursued part-time shall be calculated pro rata, on the basis of the
percentage of full-time hours worked. A given period may be counted only once.
Relevant experience should be described in your application.
The following will be considered as assets:
• Work experience in leading and managing organisational change.
• Experience of managing communication activities in a complex and evolving environment.
• Work experience gained in a similar multicultural environment. Preference will be given to work experience abroad.
Your academic and professional qualifications, professional experience and knowledge and experience considered as an asset must be described as precisely as possible in your application.
6. Interview and written test
Candidates may be invited for a written test and interview(s) with ECHA’s selection committee. Further selected candidates will undergo reference checks focusing on managerial capability and will also be invited for an assessment centre and aptitude and competence test by personnel selection consultants serving in an advisory capacity to the selection committee.
6.1 Specific knowledge related to the post:
• Knowledge and understanding in your areas of experience that are most relevant to the tasks set out in Section 3;
• Knowledge of the institutional framework of the European Union.
6.2 General competencies8 and conduct required for the job:
• Excellent managerial and organisational skills, in particular ability to lead, motivate and develop a large team to the best of their potential in a complex and demanding environment;
• Capacity to develop productive relationships with internal and external stakeholders;
• Ability to foster an environment that promotes trust, professionalism, transparency and respect for cultural diversity;
• Excellent communication skills;
• Negotiation, problem solving and conflict resolution skills;
• Excellent leadership ability in a multicultural and multilingual environment;
• Excellent interpersonal skills and a cooperative and service-oriented attitude;
• Ability to develop and coach fellow professionals;
• Excellent command of spoken and written English.
Your ability to communicate in spoken/written English, and the knowledge, skills and competencies related to the job will be assessed throughout the written tests and interviews.
8 You can read more about the general competencies in place in ECHA through the following link:
For native English speakers, your ability to communicate in your second EU language will be tested during the selection process. As this forms part of the general requirements stated under section 4.a General Requirements from above, any failure in proving the satisfactory level of your second EU language would lead to your exclusion from the selection.
Interviews, written tests and assessment centre participation may be organised remotely.
7. Placement on the reserve listIf you are judged to be among the most suitable candidates, on the basis of the criteria listed in sections 4, 5 and 6, you will be placed on the reserve list. The reserve list will be valid for
a period of two years, with the possibility of extension.
It should be noted that inclusion on the reserve lists does not imply any entitlement of employment in the Agency.
At ECHA, we believe in continuous learning and flexible work assignments to ensure the best use of our human resources and to maintain a high level of staff motivation and expertise.
Hence, your career at ECHA, once recruited, may lead you to another role within ECHA in the future.
8. What we offer
a. Engagement and conditions of employment
Successful applicants may be offered an employment contract for five years as a temporary agent, in the grade AD 9. This contract may be renewed for a definite period. If renewed for a second time, the contract becomes indefinite. If the successful applicant from the external selection procedure is already a member of temporary staff 2(f) in the relevant function group or another function group, the Agency shall offer the person, in writing, the opportunity to be assigned to the post by means of mobility under the provisions of Article 6(2)9 or, subject to
the establishment plan availabilities, Article 1010 respectively, if the person prefers to ensure continuity of contracts.
The successful applicant will be required to make a declaration of commitment to act independently in the public interest and to make an annual declaration with respect to any interests which might be considered prejudicial to his/her independence. Moreover, before recruiting a member of staff, ECHA’s Executive Director will examine whether the applicant has any personal interest which may impair his/her independence or any other conflict of
interest. To that end, the applicant, using a specific form, shall inform the Executive Director of any actual or potential conflict of interest. Applicants must confirm their willingness to do so in their application.
9 Implementing rules on the procedure governing the engagement and use of temporary staff under Article 2(f) of
b. Salary & benefits
The successful candidate will be recruited as a Temporary Agent Grade AD 9 with the basic monthly salary starting from € 8058,32, subject to an annual review of remuneration provided for in Article 65(1) of the Staff Regulations.
In addition to the basic salary, ECHA offers a range of benefits which include allowances, such as a household allowance, an expatriation allowance (16% of the basic salary) and a dependant child allowance, as well as a welfare package including pension scheme, medical and accident coverage.
For more information on the salary and on the allowances, please visit our website at:
9. Other information
For more information on the selection process of temporary agents and on the contractual and working conditions, please refer to:
• Guide for Applicants: cd910e74-63ba-4cdd-b87f-29f0a77d0fea (europa.eu)
• Conditions of Employment of Other Servants of the European Communities:
• Protection of personal data: The European Chemicals Agency will ensure, on its part, that your personal data is processed as required by Regulation (EU) 2018/172510 on the protection of personal data. Further information on how your data is processed and your rights as data owner is contained in the Guide for Applicants.
For more information please open this link